With all the running, climbing, and exploring kids do, it's no surprise that falls are common. Although many result in mild bumps, cuts, and bruises, some can cause serious injuries that need immediate medical attention.
What to Do
Call 911 for emergency help and do not move your child if he or she:
- may have seriously injured the head, neck, back, hipbones, or thighs
- is unconscious
- is having difficulty breathing
- isn't breathing (if you trained to do so, start CPR)
- has a seizure
If you think it's safe to move your child:
- Comfort your child and look for any injuries.
- Place a cold compress or ice pack on any bumps or bruises.
- Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain if your child is alert.
- Let your child rest, as needed, for the next few hours.
- Watch your child closely for the next 24 hours for any unusual symptoms or behavior.
Seek Medical Care
If Your Child:
- becomes very sleepy or is difficult to wake up
- becomes easily annoyed or upset and cannot be comforted
- vomits more than two or three times
- complains of head, neck, or back pain
- complains of increasing pain anywhere
- is not walking normally
- does not seem to be focusing his or her eyes normally
- has any behavior or symptoms that worry you
- Never leave infants and young children on a bed or any other furniture unsupervised.
- Childproof against falls with gates and avoid using walkers.
- Always strap young kids into high chairs, changing tables, shopping carts, and strollers.
- Make sure kids always wear helmets when biking, skating, and using skateboards or scooters.
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014
|National SAFE KIDS Campaign The National SAFE KIDS Campaign offers information about car seats, crib safety, fact sheets, and links to other health- and safety-oriented sites.|
|National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) The website of NCIPC contains a variety of injury prevention information.|
|Children's Safety Network Made up of several resource centers funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Children's Safety Network works to reduce injuries and prevent violence for children and adolescents.|
|Household Safety Checklists Young kids love to explore their homes, but are unaware of the potential dangers. Learn how to protect them with our handy household safety checklists.|
|Childproofing and Preventing Household Accidents You might think of babies and toddlers when you hear the words "babyproofing" or "childproofing," but unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in kids 14 years old and under.|
|A to Z: Head Injury Learn more about head injuries (head trauma).|
|Preventing Children's Sports Injuries Participation in sports can teach kids sportsmanship and discipline. But sports also carry the potential for injury. Here's how to protect your kids.|
|Broken Bones Although many kids will have one at some point, a broken bone can be scary for them and parents alike. To help make things a little easier if a spill results in a fracture, here's the lowdown on what to expect.|
|Concussions The term concussion conjures up the image of a child knocked unconscious while playing sports. But concussions can happen with any head injury, often without any loss of consciousness.|
|Household Safety: Preventing Injuries From Falling, Climbing, and Grabbing The potential for a dangerous fall or a tumble into a sharp edge can happen in nearly every area of your home. Read about how to help protect kids from getting hurt.|
|Head Injuries Head injuries fall into two categories: external and internal. Learn more about both kinds, how to prevent them, and what to do if your child is injured.|
|Dealing With Cuts Find out how to handle minor cuts at home - and when to seek professional treatment.|
|Walls & Floors, Doors & Windows, Furniture, Stairways: Household Safety Checklist Use these checklists to make a safety check of your home, including your walls, floors, furniture, doors, windows, and stairways. You should answer "yes" to all of these questions.|
|First Aid: Broken Bones A broken bone requires emergency medical care. Here's what to do if you think your child just broke a bone.|
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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